A couple of years ago our local MP was trying to get a campaign going to save a local pub from being knocked down and converted into a petrol station and 24 hour store. I'm sure a beautiful black and white country pub springs to mind but in reality it was a run of the mill housing estate type place with no particular character.
I decided to do a quick bit of digging. Seems this pub had gone bust about 5 years ago. It stood empty for a year and was bought by someone who sunk their life savings into it only for it to fail again. When the MP got on the case it had been standing empty for two years.
I wrote to him asking why he was trying to save the place, after all it had stood empty for two years and gone bust twice, clearly no one really wanted it. I suggested that the local residents probably didn't want a petrol station but that it was probably preferable to a closed pub.
The MP wrote back a very terse not telling me that the council have a community diversity manager (or some such nonsense) and he should be doing his job to protect the pub. Felt to me like between the council and the MP you could only build what they wanted you to build and the rulings were really quite arbitrary.